The Long WarThe Long War
The Long War is 90% intellectual, communications, political, economic, diplomacy, and intelligence focused. It is at most 10% military. We have not yet developed the doctrine or structure capable of thinking through and implementing a Long War (30 to 70 years if we are lucky) on a societal scale. This challenge is compounded because it is fundamentally different from waging the Cold War against the Soviet Union. The Cold War was essentially a grand siege in which a defensive alliance could contain the Soviet Union until it collapsed. This is an inherently offensive war in which we have to actively defeat our opponents. Furthermore this war resembles the Reformation-era wars of religion in which fellow nationals may be traitors serving the other side (examine Elizabethan England and the origins of the English secret service as an example).
My only thoughts are that Gingrich's Long War is a consequence of a larger phenomenon, the end of the European era. The rise of America to global dominance is, from another point of view, simply the result of surviving the European crash. David Fromkin argues in Europe's Last Summer that the Cold War was the tail end of the most consequential event of the 20th century: the Great War, caused by the fact that European Powers had run out of countries to conquer and hence, fell upon themselves. What the Great War did not wreck and the Second War did not finish off, postwar socialism did. The world may be reverting to the pre-European era, and Gingrich's Long War may really be the Long War for the survival of the West. Not its return to dominance, but simply its right to continued existence; to the chance of rediscovering its identity. Islam has always been militant and the West only recently supine. In fairness, Islam's only fault may be that it retained a belief in itself long after the West embraced self-disgust. It may be that Gingrich's Long War is less about fighting Muslims than about the West rediscovering itself. While it's apparent battlefields may be in the mountains, jungles and desert fastnesses, the only frontier that matters is in its own heart.
Mark Steyn: Russia is dying and Islamists will grab parts of the carcass
As I’ve noted before in this space, Russia is literally dying. From a population peak in 1992 of 148 million, it will be down to below 130 million by 2015 and thereafter dropping to perhaps 50 or 60 million by the end of the century, a third of what it was at the fall of the Soviet Union. It needn’t decline at a consistent rate, of course. But I’d say it’s more likely to be even lower than 50 million than it is to be over 100 million. The longer Russia goes without arresting the death spiral, the harder it is to pull out of it, and when it comes to the future most Russian women are voting with their foetus: 70 per cent of pregnancies are aborted. In its death throes, it could bequeath the world several new Muslim nations, a nuclear Middle East and a stronger China. We are witnessing a remarkable event: the death of a great nation not through war or devastation but through its inability to rouse itself from its own suicidal tendencies. The ‘ideological vacuum’ was mostly filled with a nihilist fatalism. Churchill got it wrong: Russia is a vacuum wrapped in a nullity inside an abyss.